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More is Less: A Look at Sustainability at Modernistic

(August 2010) posted on Wed Aug 11, 2010

Environmental responsibility comes in many forms. This article describes the strategies Modernistic used to reduce consumption, save money, and improve efficiency.


By DeAnn Strenke

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• Discuss areas of improvement in our facility
• Allow participants to meet, collaborate, and discuss topics unique to their position in
the organization
• Foster socialization and greater teamwork in a collaborative culture in which the
organization achieves its objectives collectively
• Allow for grassroots sharing of ideas, as well as means to disseminate essential
information related to the corporate vision
• Provide on-the-ground alerts to hot topics and cultural trends within the organization.

Modernistic was one of the first two large-format printers in the nation to become certified. As such, the process was somewhat difficult to understand and implement. We were fortunate to have SGP’s partner and supporting associations to lend a hand: Specialty Graphic Imaging Association, Flexographic Technical Association, Printing Industries of America, National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers, Envelope Manufacturing Association, and the Foil & Specialty Effects Association.

One of the first steps that we tackled was also the biggest money saver: reducing our energy use. We consulted with our provider, Xcel Energy, and asked them to perform an audit. They were able to give us several suggestions to reduce our energy consumption. Many of the programs we implemented qualified us for significant rebates from Xcel, as well as an overall reduction in our utility bill.

In 2009, Modernistic was able to shut down two return-air-relief fans that were releasing 17,262 cfm of cool, conditioned air outside. Turning this system off saves the company almost $25,000 annually. We also replaced 270 high-intensity-discharge light fixtures with 255 compact, modular, high-intensity-fluorescent fixtures. The area Modernistic retrofitted is approximately 108,000 sq ft. As a result of the lighting change, we expect to cut light-related electricity costs by 64%, from an annual cost of $58,715 to $21,000. In addition to the cost savings come significant environmental benefits, as Modernistic drastically reduces the amount of harmful greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.


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